“In today’s reputation economy, what you stand for matters more than what you produce and sell,” says Kasper Ulf Nielsen, Reputation Institute’s executive partner. “People’s willingness to buy, recommend, work for and invest in a company is driven 60% by their perceptions of the company and only 40% by their perceptions of their products.”
According to Reputation Institute, the seven dimensions of corporate reputation are: workplace, governance, citizenship, financial performance,, products and services, and innovation. Nielsen says the last two turned out to be less important, when it comes to driving consumers’ perceptions of reputation.
In looking at the group’s list of the 100 most reputable companies in the world, one can extract lessons in how to build a good reputation for an organization:
1. Recognize that it takes more than a good deed or two. BMW, which ranks as the world’s most reputable company, according to the list, has earned trust by delivering high quality consistently over time. In BMW’s case, reputation is tied to the history of the company and many years of positive action.
2. Handling a crisis really well can actually help your reputation. Sony ranked No. 2 on the list, despite enduring a highly publicized security breach crisis last year.
3. Consumers do take note of your organization’s workplace conditions. They ranked Google No. 6 on the list, giving it the highest marks in the workplace category—and not innovation, as you might expect.
All the top-ranking companies have one thing in common: They seem to realize that simply having a strong product won’t win the love and support of consumers.
— Adapted from “The World’s Most Reputable Companies,” Jacquelyn Smith, Forbes.
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